Tooth and Nail
When I watched today’s deal in a duplicate game at the club, East-West were a regular but volatile partnership — a dentist and a manicurist we call Tooth and Nail because that’s how they argue.

Dlr: North ♠ 7 4 2
Vul: N-S A J 4
A Q 9 7 6 2
♣ A
♠ A Q 9 ♠ J 10 6 5
10 5 3 K 9 7
J 8 4 3
♣ J 9 8 7 5 4 ♣ K 10 3
♠ K 8 3
Q 8 6 2
K 10 5
♣ Q 6 2
North East South West
1 Pass 1 Pass
2 Pass 2NT Pass
3NT All Pass

Opening lead — ♣7
Against 3NT, Nail led the ♣7. After dummy’s ace won, declarer came to his K and tried a heart finesse with dummy’s jack. Tooth took his king and cashed the ♣K : six, five, spade from dummy. He then led … another club. South made two overtricks.


Next came the inevitable argument.

Nail: “Why didn’t you shift to spades? The man had to have a club stopper to bid 2NT.”

Tooth: “He might have suggested notrump with J-6-2.”

Who was at fault?

I wouldn’t expect South to bid 2NT without a club trick, but the result was Nail’s fault. On the ♣K, she must protect her partner by playing the jack to deny possession of the queen. East will know to shift to the ♠J.

And that’s the whole tooth and nothing but.

Daily Question

You hold: ♠7 4 2   A J 4  A Q 9 7 6 2    ♣A.
You open 1, and your partner bids 1. North in today’s deal rebids 2 with this hand. Do you agree with that call?

A raise to 2 is possible, but if you repeat the diamonds, the hand sits on the fence between two and three. Fractional bids aren’t allowed, so you must choose one or the other. The suit is not robust, but due to the heart fit and side ace, bid 3.

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